Welcome to the Chinese New Year 2013. On Feb. 10, Singapore was in full swing as the Year of the Snake was welcomed into this colorful island city-state with a whole lot of hoopla. This was especially so at the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple where thousands celebrated at this ancient place of worship where good luck is said to come to all who pray to the Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy.
According to Getty Images, Sunday is the most important day of the year on the Chinese calendar for much of Southeast Asia. This is especially so in Singapore where symbols of the season just started include the joss stick (incense burned before a Chinese religious image, idol or shrine), giant lanterns, and local delicacies, the latter especially enjoyed at Guangdong, otherwise known as Singapore's largest outdoor food street.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 8, the 2013 the River Hongbao Festival at The Float at Marina Bay bowed in Singapore. The annual event, an important aspect of Chinese New Year that takes place before the actual beginning of the official celebration, is a chance for locals and visitors alike to get up close and personal with plenty of locally made lanterns and intricate handicrafts that come from the region.
The occasion also includes traditional Chinese New Year fireworks, which are on offer in Singapore throughout the lengthy celebration. Speaking of lengthy, this traditional holiday is one of the Chinese calendar's longest, taking place starting the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar and lasting until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the same month.
That means that revelry can be expected this Chinese New Year in Singapore until Feb. 25 as the Year of the Snake takes over the Year of the Dragon. Party on.